Open Road brings Joe Carnahan's 'The Grey' back around for awards consideration

The studio is also re-expanding 'End of Watch' in theaters

<p>Liam Neeson in &quot;The Grey&quot;</p>

Liam Neeson in "The Grey"

Credit: Open Road Films

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Nearly a full year later, Joe Carnahan's "The Grey" is still, to me, one of 2012's best films. There was talk last year of it being released in time for awards consideration, but it didn't happen. And when the January bow happened this year, there was discussion of bringing it back around for consideration by year's end. It looks like that will happen, in some small way.

Open Road Films has announced that the film will be given an exclusive two-week engagement at Laemmle theaters in both Santa Monica and Encino starting this Friday, December 7. Guild and Academy members will be given free entrance to the showings by presenting their membership cards, so obviously the goal is to get them out of the house to see the film on the big screen rather than risk it being lost in the never-ending stack of screeners that accumulates this time of year.

Meanwhile, star Liam Neeson has done Q&As at a few screenings this season, even touching on the personal nature of the role (a man who lost his wife, cutting close to the bone for the actor, whose own wife Natasha Richardson died following a skiing accident in March of 2009).

Open Road has also announced -- as noted in a recent interview with Jake Gyllenhaal -- a re-expansion of David Ayer's "End of Watch," hoping to angle some consideration for Gyllenhaal and co-star Michael Peña. Will any of it work? It would certainly be nice if voters would look beyond the usual films in play this season for nuggets like these. Here's hoping.

Kristopher Tapley
Kristopher Tapley has covered the film awards landscape for over a decade. He founded In Contention in 2005. His work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Times of London and Variety. He begs you not to take any of this too seriously.